Lugo Bay Lugo Bay

To bring fortune and good luck for a year, the women dancers of Bongo village nick name the archers on the third day of the Bongo archery and Losar. It is called Dha Kha Log Ni.

The Lyrics goes Lugo Bay Lugo Bay. Dha Kha Log Ni is one of the awaited programmes during the three day archery and Losar in Bongo village. It is one part of an event where women calls all men archers by their nick names, as they gets ready to shoot their arrows. The old and the young archers are all teased with their nick names. No one is spared. Whatever the nick name the archer gets, it stays along for the whole year, until the same programme is repeated one year after and the men archers again gets their new nick names.

The origin of such teasing is not known but in Thimphu and other areas but we do see two opposing archery teams bringing their set of women dancers who tease the opposing men of the team to miss the target. But ‘nick-naming’ the men, we are not aware if such happens in other part of Bhutan. But in Bongo, it is really a fun part of the three-day archery and Losar.

We have always wanted to video document this important and interesting part of Bongop Losar. This year, we succeeded and we have the video here for you to view, laugh and comment as well.

We hope our Bongops can take interest to be part of such events in the future. The feeling of being cleansed by the nick names that we get and starting a new year with a new name is exciting.

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Speech by the Bongop Tshogpa Representative at the Inauguration of 36 Toilets in Bongo

Your Excellency the Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs,

Mr. Bharatbhushan Jayantilal, Ms. Charulata R A Seth and Ms. Bhanumati representing the Rotarians and Rotary Clubs in Malaysia,

The Club President of the Rotary Club of Thimphu,

Thrizin of Bongo Gewog,

Guests,

And the public of Bongo and other villages

May I thank Your Excellency the Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs and our  guests from Malaysia Mr. Bharatbhushan Jayantilal and Ms. Charulata R A Seth and Ms. Bhanumati and the President of the Rotary Club of Thimphu Rotarian Tsewang Rinzing for joining us to celebrate the successful completion and inauguration of 36 Pour Flush Toilets in Bongo village. The toilets were constructed with support from Rotary Club of Thimphu and a Consortium of Rotarians and Rotary Clubs in Malaysia, along with few Clubs from India. Today we are celebrating the success of one community-led project in Bongo village. It is the celebration of the kindness and generosity and support received from many people from within and outside the country, for the benefit of 36 households in Bongo. It is also the celebration of the sense of volunteerism of many individuals for the past two months to bring this genuine initiative to fruition.

I would like to share a short anecdotal account of how this project came into being.

One morning, As I took a ride with the Health Assistant of Bongo BHU from Jungley, we began to speak of a wishful thought about every household of Bongo owning a toilet of their own.

That morning itself, Tshogpa of Bongo Chiwog Rinchen Gyeltshen and myself started listing down the households who owned a toilet and those who did not. Subsequently, it turns out that only 8 household had toilets, while 36 of them did not have one.

I spent that whole morning photographing each and every pit toilet in the village to show to the outside world, the plight of the Bongo people. We felt that the sorry images would demonstrate to people the lack of the most basic necessity to promote health, wellbeing and human dignity.

Lekey Wangdi and myself drafted a short proposal to submit to anyone who might be forthcoming. A chance meeting between Ugyen Pem, a Tshogpa Member of the Bongo Tshogpa, and Yeshey Dorji, Club Secretary of Rotary Club of Thimphu was the defining moment. Ugyen Pem broached the subject with the Club Secretary and he agreed to put up the proposal to other Club Members during their weekly meeting. The Club Members agreed to take on the project and reached out to Rotarians in Malaysia. Rest is history.

We would like to inform the gathering today that we have formed a small but informal organization called Bongop Tshogpa. It is composed of all Bongops who work and live outside the village. Lekey Wangdi, son of Aum Nim Budha, Ugyen Pem, Daughter of Ap Nakchu, Sangay Tshering, Son of Ap Namgay of Zamsa and myself serve voluntarily as the Administrators of this informal organization. This initiative is one of the few others which we have undertaken and hopes to continue in future.  Four of us have worked hand in hand to bring this project this far. In every step that we took, Mr. Yeshey’s advise guided us

It is quite possible that the Club President Mr. Tsewang Rinzing may have not heard of Bongo village – but today he is here among us – to celebrate an occasion that demonstrates his and his other Rotarian colleagues’ spirit of charity and sense of volunteerism.

Same goes with Mr. Bharatbhushan Jayantilal and Ms. Charulata R A Seth who may have heard of this remote village – only through the project that they have helped bring to fruition. I would also like to mention that Ms. Bhanumati from Singapore is among us today with a genuine interest to be among us.

This gathering of villagers of Bongo remain thankful to the three guests and to the President of the Rotary Club of Thimphu for coming this far to see our people, our village and to see their own act of kindness bear fruit.

The trial toilet was constructed in November and it took us 24 days to complete just one toilet! The construction of the remaining 35 toilets began on December 24 2017 and on January 26 2018, every toilet was completed. It took us only 33 days to complete 35 toilets! Not even a day for each toilet! It gives me great pleasure to inform the gathering that the project implementation has been a great success.

Now that we have achieved what we all wanted to see for our villagers in terms of a decent pour-flush toilet, where do we go from here.

Firstly, we hope to have the toilets used properly.  Our toilets are constructed in a way that it has both the bathroom and the toilet spaces in the same compartment. This was to ensure that we gain the maximum benefit of the structure that is constructed. We hope our people can now keep the toilets as clean as possible, for their own benefit.

Secondly, I hope our days of using sticks and stones after the toilet is finally over. That we now instill in people a new culture of using water.

Thirdly and most importantly, we hope that the 36 toilets in Bongo serve as the symbol of cooperation of our people, spirit of volunteerism of our Bongop young men and women and that it marks the celebration of the generosity of people from Thimphu, Malaysia and from India.

As we end this program today, we would like to take you around our village to see the toilets as well as see the village in detail for yourself. You will notice that the waste water flows in this village without any drainage system. You will also note that it is very difficult for the children and old people to walk from one house to another because we don’t have a decent footpath.

Today, I dare dream again that one day we have a drainage system constructed for this village and also that we walk on footsteps laid out from one house to another. This is my next dream to achieve for this village.

I also like to make an honourable mention that Azha Sangay Dorji from Ketokha is among us today. He has come all the way from Ketokha village to share with us his desire for a decent toilet for all his few villagers of Ketokha.

I beg your forgiveness if our distinguished guests feel that we are asking a lot. But we are only seeking for a decent living condition and sanitation in our villages. That we are seeking to help the Ministry of Health and our government to achieve its targets in health improvement.

We would like to compliment the efforts of our government and fulfill the aspirations of our visionary Kings to make Bhutan a model place to live, to make it a happy place in every corner of the country. We hope to work to the best of our abilities for our Kings, for our government and most importantly, to serve our parents and brothers and sisters living in the villages.

Thank you again to everyone for giving such opportunities to Bongop Tshogpa to serve with all our heart and mind and for making every Bongop proud with the completion of the project to construct 36 toilets in Bongo by the kindness and generosity of the Rotary Club of Thimphu, Consortium of Rotary Clubs in Malaysia and Rotary Clubs from India.

Tashi Delek

 

 

 

 

ALL houses of Bongo have Pour-Flush Toilet with the support of Rotary Clubs

Bongop Tshogpa Administrators would like to share our happiness after we have successfully constructed 36 toilets in Bongo village. The toilets were inaugurated by the Donors and H.E. the Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs on 28 January 2018.

The financial support from Rotary Club of Thimphu (RCT) and Consortium of Rotary Clubs in Malaysia and from India were the main drivers for this toilet project. The support and help of Mr. Yeshey Dorji, the Club Secretary of RCT to secure the funds and to help this project with all his heart and mind brought the project to life. We also thank all the Rotarians of RCT for their support to Bongops in every weekly meetings.

Bongo village has now 100 percent toilet coverage. It took only 33 days to complete 35 toilets! One toilet was constructed in November as a trial. Many people worked as volunteers to complete this project. Bongop Tshogpa Administrators and Nima Wangdi, a young graduate from Bongo, worked more than 2 months to complete the project.

Karma Chethay from Phasuma gave his Bolero Pickup Truck for free to use during the project. Bongop Tshogpa remain grateful for the act of volunteerism of all individuals to benefit our fellow villagers.

This is one of the bigger initiatives by the Bongop Tshogpa. The Tshogpa Administrators remain grateful to the public of Bongo for allowing Bongop Tshogpa to serve them.

We hope we can replicate such projects in other villages as well and we urge Bongops to come forward to take part in such initiatives. Together we can work further for the benefit of all villages under Bongo Gewog.

Thank you and you can view photos of the completed toilets below:

36 Toilets of Bongo

This album contains the 36 toilets of Bongo village built by Rotary Club of Thimphu and Rotary Clubs in Malaysia and India

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Memories of Bongo Losar 2017

Snapshots of Bongo Losar 2017. Enjoy them here.

Bongo Archery 2017
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Welcome to Bongo Losar from 19 to 22 December

One Losar ends and another begins. Ketokha Nyaru Losar was a huge success. There was unlimited joy and happiness shared among the people of Ketokha and all who attended the Nyaru Losar. For those who have failed to make it to the Ketokha Nyaru Losar, you have to wait for the Ketokha Nyaru video which is forthcoming or you can come to attend the Bongo Losar which starts from 19 December.

There are always unique features in Losars celebrated in different Bongop villages. Ketokha Nyaru was  unique in different aspects and it is even hard to put forth in words the uniqueness. Bongo Losar certainly has its own beauty and charm. If you want to see how it was celebrated back in 2015, please click on the video link below to watch the film made by Jamyang Jamtsho of Gumar Films.

Bongo Losar this time around should be a grand one. We expect all Bongops residing outside of the village to come to attend the Losar. Bongop Tshogpa would be happy to coordinate and travel together from Thimphu if there are many travelers.

Welcome everyone to our Losar. Leave aside your ‘busy schedule’. Let’s enjoy among our parents, brothers, sisters and with our village friends once in a year. We expect to see all of you at Bongo on the evening of 18th December.

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Invitation to Ketokha Nya Ru Losar starting from Sunday 3 December 2017

The Bongops of Ketokha will celebrate the annual Nya Ru Losar starting from Sunday 3 December. The celebrations last five days and all the people of Ketokha come together to celebrate it with Archery match and dances. Nya Ru is the celebration of the meeting of group of six stars (Min Drug) and the moon. On the 15th full moon day falling on Sunday 3rd December, Ketops celebrate the closest distance that the moon and the six stars have come together. Nya Ru is also celebrated in Dogar village in Paro and it is also known as Bja-wo Kam Nyaru. How Ketops decided to celebrate Bja-wo Kam Nyaru instead of other losars celebrated in rest of the Bongop villages remains unclear.

It is a big event in Ketokha with our fellow Bongops in Ketokha adorning their best dresses and women performing the most beautiful dances. For people who appreciate colours and beauty of celebrations in a rural area in Bhutan, Ketokha is the place to go and time is very short as the celebrations starts in three days time on Sunday 3 December.

This year, unlike in the past, we expect to see few people from Bongo and other villages to join the Nya Ru celebrations in Ketokha. This is an attempt by Bongop Tshogpa to contribute to promoting community harmony.

For those who have not yet decided and happens to see this post, please make an effort to join the Nya Ru celebrations in Ketokha this Sunday. We can assure that there will not be short of fun and joy at the beautiful Ketokha village.

Bongop Tshogpa hopes to carry out a video documentation of the entire celebrations and we surely will have few dances and if possible, Lolay on the last day.

So please make an effort to join our Ketops this time. Life is full of work and being busy is a new disease of this new world. Unless we run away from being busy, we will always remain a busy… Welcome to Ketokha from the evening on 2nd December. Logistics will be arranged if needed.

Photo courtesy: Ketop Family Group on Facebook

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Bongo school gets filtered water with Sky Hydrant Water Filter sponsored by Ayr State High School of Australia

Bongo Primary School students can now drink the cleanest water with the installation of Sky Hydrant Water Filter on Sunday 19 November 2017. The water filter was sponsored by Ayr State High School Interact Club of Queensland, Australia and it was shipped all the way from Australia to Bhutan.

Mr. Andrew Gunn and Mr. Phil Gribble of Disaster Aid Response Team of Australia went all the way till Bongo to install the water filter.

This project was started over a month ago in October when Ugyen Pem, one of the Administrators of Bongop Tshogpa, made a personal request to the Club Secretary of Rotary Club Thimphu, Yeshey Dorji on the need for a Water Filter for Bongo School students.

Secretary of Rotary Club of Thimphu (RCT), Yeshey Dorji was crucial in materializing this initiative. Dorji Phuntsho of Bhutan Toilet Organisation made two tiring trips to Bongo village to firstly study the site and secondly to install the filter. Two water storage tanks with capacity of 2000 and 1000 liters were supplied by Rotary Club of Thimphu. Mr. Andrew Gunn and Mr. Phil Gribble took the arduous journey all the way from Australia till Bongo.

Most importantly, the people of Bongo and the students of Bongo Primary School are grateful for such a generous gift from Ayre State High School Interact club.We the Bongops hope to keep contact with Ayr State High School of Queensland, Australia so that we can work on other mutually beneficial projects in the future as well.

Bongop Tshogpa, on behalf of all Bongops would like to thank Ayr State High School for the great help they have given to Bongop people.

All the Bongops and Bongop Tshogpa remain grateful to all others who were directly or indirectly involved with the successful realization of this initiative and for providing the children of Bongo with the clean water.

Thank you and Kadrinchey La.

Bongop Tshogpa

Bongop Tshogpa Fund Raising Party on Saturday 11 November

We are glad to announce a Bongop Tshogpa Fund Raising Party on 11 November 2017. The Party will take place at Club Zomsa. It is organised by our Bongop Youths lead by Jigme Kinley. Do join us for the party. This is the first time we are doing a party like this to raise funds for the benefit of Bongops.

We need the support of our youth to pass on the message and also sell tickets so that we can cover the cost of the hall hired for the night. Call Jigme Kinley at 1733-0066 to join.

 

Thank you